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[Public Domain]



UnknownAround the World in New York (ca. 1940s)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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Views of immigrant and ethnic communities in New York City.

This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Unknown
Sponsor: N/A
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: New York City; Immigration; Chinese Americans

Creative Commons license: Public Domain

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Average Rating: 2.50 out of 5 stars2.50 out of 5 stars2.50 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - April 12, 2003
Subject: Around the World in New York
This film documents some of the various ethnic neighborhoods in New York City, making the claim that you can go "around the world" without ever leaving the city. It is a viable presence considering the huge variety of ethnic groups with a presence in the city, even today. Mostly this film is interesting, though, for the glimpse it gives us of New York's ethnic neighborhoods in the 1940s.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: Spuzz - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - December 31, 2002
Subject: Need your Stereotypes spelled out for you?
In this short, the many different ethnicities of New York is presented. Here it's presented in such an obvious way that it seems so stereotypical. Italians playing Bocce, Germans drinking beer etc. Surprisingly, the film doesn't being forth the feeling of New York in the 40's, it looks so plain and ordinary it just looks like it was coming out of Fargo.


The beginning of this film has some interesting shots of the Lower East Side, but they're short. There are some good images of busy Puerto Rican streets. Many of the images show stereotypical activities. For example, a group of old Italian men play bocci ball.

¥ 6:03:61- 6:15:00
Perhaps too stereotypical, but nice image of group of boys playing stickball in Manhattan. Good view of the block.

¥ 10:48:93- 10:58:31
Nice image of Asian-American children jump roping. They wear winter coats and hats.

Film serves two purposes: one, as a travelog of early 1950s New York City and two, to show the different ethnic groups in NYC. Fine film with interesting camera work.

1:15:25 LS United Nations building from West Side Highway (driver's pov) and from circular driveway in front of UN (shaky transfer)

1:16:08 LS Good scenes of crowds of pedestrians filling sidewark (all nationalities, "Baghdad on the Subway" as O. Henry described it); people gathered around sidewalk vendors, clothes hanging in shop window (Lower East Side); sneakers hanging on line above sidewalk vendors.

1:16:33 CU Hands of man inspecting shoe for quality; another man shouting and offering dresses for sale.

1:16:45 CU hands inspect, feel fabric/ material for quality; boy tries on cap and smiles; lingerie/panties stretched

1:16:57 CU Pickle Barrel; hands choosing pickles. CU of man eating pickle (good) Excellent shots (time lapse fast motion) of people eating hot dogs.

1:17:23 CU Latino Restaurant sign "El Tropico" with words "Cuchifrito", "Frituras", "Mofongs", "Pasteles", "Lechon" (Latino Foods).

1:27:28 CU Latino snow-cones (sno cones) are made by street vendor from ice and flovored syrups. (Piragua?) Puerto Rican girl eating snow cone and smiling.

1:18:07 LS Puerto Rican shoe shine boys at work outside restaurant.

1:18:16 CU MS Streetcorner palm reader (in truban) goes into a trance, reads palms. (Puerto Rican neighborhood).

1:18:24 MS "Polly the Fortune Teller"; Black man playing street organ and singing

1:18:39 MS Small Latino band of guitar, accordion and man singing and clapping performing on street corner; NY City bus visible behind them.

1:18:49 CU MS Latino preacher sermonizing on corner with religious poster behind him; he clutches Bible in his hand, and gestures strongly.

1:18:55 MS LS Playing softball in park/sandlot. Two Puerto Rican neighborhood teams compete for the championship (Good). Base hit, safe on first base. Good reaction shots from spectators in the stands.

1:19:50 LS MS Bocce Ball played by Italian Americans (excellent and lengthy footage) Heated discussions among Italian men. Expressive hand movement.

1:21:30 LS MS Stickball/stick ball played by boys in NY City street; very good.

1:21:44 LS NY City Italian neighborhood; sidewalk vendors; ms middle aged woman looking at can of tomato paste?; merchant walks outside holding two kinds of cheese (mozzarella and another) and shows them to woman.

1:22:04 CU MS Excellent shot of hand unwrapping fresh mozzarella cheese; Italian woman slices the mozzarella and puts the slices on a plate. Making manicotti (macaroni, ricotta and mozzarella). Then, it's saturated with "a well simmered tomato sauce whose recipe has been handed down from generation to generation". Finally, topped with "a shart parmesan cheese". yummy! The dish is then placed in the oven.

1:23:06 MS Great eating scene: Italian man stuffs a big piece of manicotti in his mouth, nods and makes a gesture of approval "Bon Appetito!"

1:23:12 MS Exterior of German restaurant in New York City's Yorkville section (Upper East side) . Man rolling beer keg to restaurant door.

1:23:18 CU Hand lifting beer stein to mouth, man drinking beer with full head of foam atop stein. He licks lips.

1:23:26 MS German singers singing lustiliy beside microphone; lots of "gemuchlichkeit". (Ach du lieber..)

1:23:34 German dancers spin around on dance floor. (The traditional "slap dance".)

1:23:40 MS Three people clink glasses of beer in a toast. ""Prosit, meine lieve!"); they drink heartily.

1:23:48 MS The slap dancers start to slap out of control spinning dizzily.

1:23:52 CU Close up of elaborately carved beer stein. More slap dancers. Then, audience participation of the "schnitzelbank ("Ja, das ist der schnitzelbank", etc. etc) --pointer pointing to images of liverwurst, man drinking etc.

1:24:23 MS Man licking his lips and winking at fraulein at microphone. They kiss and smile.

1:24:36 LS St. Patrick's Day Parade down Sixth Avenue; it's a great day for the Irish.

1:24:48 MS Irish banner "council of Gaelic societies: in parade.

1:24:55 CU Smiling Irish girl in St. Patrick's Day Hat.

1:25:00 MS Banner in parade "Irish Cultural Society, Manhattan College" . smiling and applauding Cardinal Sepllman with Happy throng.

1:25:10 MS, CU Man and boy in tuxedo and top hat marching in parade. Happy people waving, yelling and cheering parade (CUs).

1:25:19 CU Little boy dressed like Uncle Sam with phony beard and (presumably) a red, white and blue top hat. Children in costume march in parade; boy spectator waving shamrock flag.

1:25:39 MS Baton twirlers in parade.

1:25:45 LS Chingatown AV aboard street. Street vendors. Chinese newspapers.

1:26:09 CU Chubby smiling Chinese boy reading Felix the cat comic book.

1:26:16 LS Chinese children jumping rope in street.

1:26:27 CU Chinese boy smiling, holding hand to cheek and pointing.

1:26:29 MS Smiling image of Buddha

1:25:45 LS Chinatown. AV aboard Street. Street vendors. Chinese newspapers.

1:26:09 CU Chubby, smiling Chinese boy reading Felix the Cat comic book.

1:26:16 LS Chinese children jumping rope in the street.

1:26:27 CU Chinese boy smiling, holding hand to cheek and pointing.

1:26:29 MS Smiling image of Buddha

1:26:34 MS Anglo window shoppers pointing to objects in Chinatown window.

1:26:41 LS Chinese New Year paraded in Chinatown. Banners, papier mache dragon weaving through street. Men play Chinese drums and cymbals. People dancing in street. Firecrackers exploding.

1:27:52 CU Cute close-up of little Chinese girl wearing Fire Fighters helmet.

1:28:15 LS Pan up from Chinatown Street, looking uptown to Empire State Building in distance.


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